LIVE: Butcher Babies @ Rebellion, Manchester (03/03/2018)

Date: March 3rd 2018
Venue: Rebellion, Manchester
Support: Klogr / Eyes Set To Kill


Even now in 2018, there’s still a lingering air in the appropriately abandoned and loathed sexist crevices of the rock and metal community (not that it’s a crutch exclusive to those genres only) that girls can’t sing rock. Obviously there’s a countless number of bands and artists that destroy such a claim hands down, and one of which is undoubtedly Californian powerhouse, Butcher Babies.

With a third album in ‘Lilith’ under their belts towards the tail-end of 2017, the thrash metal influenced heavy metal/metalcore outfit – fronted by Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey – stepped up their game immensely, and now they’re over in the UK to showcase it live to their British followers.

Part Italian and part American outfit Klogr [4] have a very early era Trivium-esque presence and sound about them, but toned down from any abrasiveness or extremity whatsoever. It’s this lack of a ballsy attitude or sound which lets them down the most and, though certainly technically apt and perfectly equipped musicians, the band seem void of any trace of passion, and as a result come across as uninterested.

With fifteen years chalked up now since they came together, Eyes Set To Kill [6] certainly have the most experience out of tonight’s touring bill. They’ve got a lot of material to work with (now six albums as of a few weeks ago), and though nothing cutting-edge per say, new cuts like ‘Break’ definitely deserve plenty of head bangs. Their cover of ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries in tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan doesn’t stray far from the original whilst stamping their own style on it, and gives vocalist Alexia Rodriguez a chance to show off her great pipes.

Littered with plenty of cuts from their latest record ‘Lilith’, Butcher Babies [8] kick their set off with its titular track and, despite the Rebellion’s somewhat compact space, pits start to open up pretty quickly. ‘Monster’s Ball’ and ‘Headspin’ continue on with the riff fuelled affair, and newly recruited sticksman Chase Brickenden really gets to show off his flair and presence during ‘Igniter’ and ‘Burn The Straw Man’.

One of the strongest attributes that make Butcher Babies such a treat to enjoy live and sets them apart from the pack is the camaraderie and tag team vocal effort between Shepherd and Harvey as they pace back and forth across the stage; their shrill shrieks and beast-like roars respectively on cuts like ‘Gravemaker’ being particular highlights. Shepherd even encourages the crowd to egg on Harvey to down a shot of Jäger before moving into their literally bear-soaked take on ZZ Top‘s hit, ‘Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers’.

An encore ensues with the bouncy and groove-driven ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away’, and with the closing one-two of debut album offerings ‘Axe Wound’ and ‘Magnolia Blvd.’, Butcher Babies bid adieu to the Mancunian crowd who are now in dire need of nursing a bangover.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)